State of Nonprofits 2023: What Funders Need To Know

In the four years since the COVID-19 pandemic began and movements for racial justice gained widespread public attention, nonprofits across the United States have demonstrated their pivotal role in meeting their communities’ needs and advocating for those they serve. Individual and institutional funders, too, have responded to calls for change. There is real evidence that many of the adaptations to funder practices have taken root and are better supporting grantees in their work.

This was borne out in Center for Effective Philanthropy’s first State of Nonprofits report, released in 2023. Nonprofit leaders indicated that they were experiencing “increased trust from their funders.”

Despite these significant and encouraging changes, many organizations were still facing lingering effects of the pandemic and ongoing economic uncertainty — as well as the toll that these challenges had taken on their staff. Almost every leader surveyed in State of Nonprofits 2023: What Funders Need To Know indicated some degree of concern about burnout, and three-quarters reported some level of difficulty filling staff vacancies.

In State of Nonprofits 2024, we take the pulse of nonprofit leaders again, to understand their perspectives and examine change over time.

This yearly survey is based on CEP’s Nonprofit Voice Project, a panel of U.S. nonprofits that is representative of the national landscape of nonprofits receiving at least some foundation funding. A primary objective of the panel is to help funders, both individual and institutional, better understand the
nonprofit experience so they can more effectively support the organizations they fund.

In early 2024, we reached out to nonprofit leaders on our panel — the same group of leaders we surveyed in 2023 — to learn how their experiences have evolved over the past year. We surveyed 463 nonprofit leaders participating in CEP’s Nonprofit Voice Project and received responses from 239 organizations, representing a 52 percent response rate.

From the Center for Effective Philanthropy